Religious Studies Professor Ray Patterson links academics to student life, earns 2013 service award

By: Buff Lindau

raymond pattersonReligious studies professor Ray Patterson was recognized for his tireless commitment to educating the "whole person" and was awarded the 2013 Saint Michael's College Norbert A. Kuntz Service Award. Selected by his faculty colleagues, Professor Patterson received the award at the annual Academic Convocation held on campus September 27th.  

"For over a decade, Ray Patterson has demonstrated his commitment to educating the whole person by integrating the academic, social, and spiritual dimensions of the student experience," his colleagues said. 

"I like the size of the St. Mike's community, which has allowed me to develop strong working relationships with students, staff and other faculty," Patterson said.

Patterson earned his bachelor's degree from Dartmouth, his master's from Yale Divinity School, and his doctorate from The Catholic University of America. He teaches American Catholicism, American Protestantism, Celtic Christianity, The Church Saints and Holiness, Symbol and Sacrament, Theological Themes in Film, Varieties of Christianity.  He says his favorite is The Church, "which treats contemporary Roman Catholic issues and considers the Catholic contribution to the discussion of a wide variety of topics in today’s world." 

Patterson ties academics and student life to enrich both for students

Patterson was praised by his colleagues for "serving as an essential link between Academics and Student Life, Athletics, and Campus Ministry."

"Ray Patterson contributes in more ways to the college than any other member of the faculty, and he has enhanced the experience at Saint Michael’s in lasting ways for students, faculty, and staff," one of his colleagues said. 

A leader in student advising

Well-known as a leader in student advising, Patterson was cited with designing and leading countless advising, registration, and technology training and information sessions for students and faculty, and for offering improvements to student orientation.  

"It is not unusual for him to turn from a full day of academic commitments to serve as a weekend leader of the highly popular Pre-Orientation Weekend (POW) student program following a summer registration day," one colleague said. 

As a regular liaison to Campus Ministry, Patterson has led pilgrimages to Montreal and Quebec City, provided instructional sessions through the ABC's of Catholicism program, coordinated the Catholic Intellectual Heritage Series for the Centennial and more.  He also participates in the student-residence-hall visitor program, and by mentoring student-athletes and entire varsity teams.   

A resident of Monkton, VT, Professor Patterson has served seven years on the Vermont Ecumenical Council, twice as faculty representative to the United Way Committee, and he continues to teach with the local RCIA educational program.

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